Quick Tip: How to Choose the Right Shoes for Photowalking

You know the feeling if you’re a photographer with some gear on you: you go about walking around for a while but then after some time you need a break. You have to refuel but most importantly, your feet hurt. That can sometimes be the biggest issue when it comes to photowalking. Everyone will tell you to wear comfortable shoes; but no one really goes into that any further. For me personally, sometimes my nicer shoes tend to be comfortable enough for most excursions I go on. However, that all depends on what gear I have with me.

And with that, I’m going to get really into how to choose the right shoes for photowalking.

So here’s the thing, I tend to shoot with mirrorless cameras, big medium format cameras, and DSLRs. All of them and the lenses that I tote around all have different weights. But in addition to that, sometimes my most versatile pair of shoes just won’t work. The solution: considering what I’m doing and what gear I’m bringing with me.

What Are You Photographing?

This is the biggest question that you can seriously ask yourself. With that in mind, you have to think carefully. For example, if my buddy Mike is going about photographing abstracts, that can take a really long time. But if he’s just street shooting, sometimes that doesn’t take as long. You wouldn’t walk around in nice, uncomfortable shoes for a long period of time, but if you’re going out really quickly then coming back inside, who cares?

The unusual: there were lots of people without shoes on outside.

What Does Photographing Said Area Entail?

San Francisco has a lot of hills; and hills don’t work very well with nicer shoes. Dumbo has a ton of cobblestone streets that are bound to mess with your shoe lining. Mount Hood is clearly not a place to scale with nice, leather boots.

Does this make sense?

Are These Shoes Comfortable With All This Gear On?

Now, let’s get to the single most important question that I’m ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE no photographer asks themselves. Are these shoes comfortable with all this gear on? Some shoes may be great if you’re walking around with nothing on you but your phone. But if you’re toting around a backpack with gear, then eventually your body is going to start to wear down.

So before you go out, ensure your shoes are the last thing you put on because they’re going to be a very important part of your photowalk.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.